October 30, 2017

"The Manafort Indictment: Not Much There, and a Boon for Trump."

Says Andrew C. McCarthy at The National Review.
Do not be fooled by the “Conspiracy against the United States” heading on Count One (page 23 of the indictment). This case has nothing to do with what Democrats and the media call “the attack on our democracy” (i.e., the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election, supposedly in “collusion” with the Trump campaign). Essentially, Manafort and his associate, Richard W. Gates, are charged with (a) conspiring to conceal from the U.S. government about $75 million they made as unregistered foreign agents for Ukraine, years before the 2016 election (mainly, from 2006 through 2014), and (b) a money-laundering conspiracy....

The so-called conspiracy against the United States mainly involves Manafort’s and Gates’s alleged failure to file Treasury Department forms required by the Bank Secrecy Act....
ADDED: Meanwhile, at the NYT, you've got headlines like "Will Manafort Sing?" That's in terrible taste. So disrespectful to the prosecutor that we've been instructed to respect.
If Manafort pursues his self-interest, my bet is that he’ll sing. That then can become a cascade: He testifies against others, who in turn are pressured to testify against still others. And all this makes it more difficult to protect the man at the center if indeed he has violated the law.
That's Nicholas Kristof, sounding as though he's drooling over the keyboard... until he hit that big "if."

What "cascade" can there be if it's about Manafort financial dealings long before he had anything to do with Trump? Things need to be connected for there to be a cascade.

Why is the NYT feeding its readers this kind of wild speculation? Why not get back to the newly released JFK papers? People love conspiracy theories.

124 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Yeah, this is small potatoes compared to Marc Rich, and the US laws are different than just about any country, but they are our laws, and Manafort did not renounce his citizenship. No pardon for you! I would say. Unless he can somehow get Eric Holder on his side, like Marc Rich did.

This is an attempt to squeeze blood from a turnip based on the assumption that there is blood. Amazing the deca-millions that seem to change hands among our betters, though, isn't it?

Gerrard787 said...

That's it? After a yearlong media frenzy?

Unknown said...

Who cares about facts when there is a Republican to smear?

In fact, the more baseless the smear the better! ARM and others will testify to that!

--Vance

tim in vermont said...

I guess I find it hard to believe that he could have been paid that much for "political consulting." It does sound like corruption was in play, but then, I found it hard to believe that the Russians thought that the Clinton Foundation could make better use of deca millions of their charitable dollars than they could.

tim in vermont said...

If the Podesta Group was involved, which they were, corruption is assured.

mccullough said...

Sounds like a strong case on the tax evasion count. The rest is underwhelming.

Martin said...

They're going to squeeze Manafort to get something on Trump... tho, if half the indictment is true, Manafort really did push things too far.

The Papadopoulos thing is a bit more interesting, but only a bit. Shows where you wind up with one amateurish, under-resourced campaign (Carson) hiring anyone who would accept a job, and then another campaign (Trump) promising to take on some of Carson's staff in return for Carson's withdrawal and endorsement.... and nobody having a stable of pros to draw on, incluling people who know how to vet hires.

In any other year it would be crazy that this guy got any kind of policy job in a serious Presidential campaign. But 2016 wasn't "any other year."

tim in vermont said...

Meanwhile, we have that source that the Department of Just Us under Obama had gagged, now able to speak. This is going to get interesting. Who knows? Maybe the whole right wing noise machine will be shown to be a pack of liars? it would be a relief to know I don't live in a banana Republic, run by tech billionaires like Alphabet rather than United Fruit!

mccullough said...

If Tony Podesta didn't evade taxes, the case against him is exceptionally weak. Failure to register as a lobbyist for a foreign non profit that Mueller believes was a front for the Ukranian government? He'll have to prove that I was a front, not just that Manafort and Podesta believed it was a front.

johns said...

I keep seeing that Manafort was paid all those millions. Which he was. but he ran a consulting firm that provided services connected to running election campaigns. It seems to me that he probably had a staff, and maybe conducted polls, etc. So there may have been a smidgen of cost involved too. Does anyone know?

Bay Area Guy said...

Aside from our Hostess, my 3 favorite legal pontificators/prognosticators are:

Andy McCarthy
Alan Dershowitz
Jonathan Turley

They tend to sift thru the nonsense and get closest to what is actually happening.

Shorter indictment: Manafort was lawfully paid $75 Million by some Ukranians, didn't fill out a few forms, and may not have paid all the taxes owed on this large sum.

It has not a thing to do with the 2016 campaign.

It's going to be a a real boring tax evasion case/money laundering case, except it ain't illegal drug money, but legal K street consulting money.

I say Big Fucking Deal.



tim in vermont said...

Is tax evasion "money laundering"? I thought that money laundering had to do with finding ways to expose illegally obtained funds to the tax system so that they appeared to have been legally obtained. Like owning a cash business and pretending it made a ton more money than it did, and paying taxes on it.

Is one of the charges "Money laundering"? Where was the crime to obtain the money?

Unknown said...

Keep hope alive.

Bob Ellison said...

Turley said this morning that the whole Mueller strategy is to put the screws on Manafort, in search of the bigger prize (Trump, he did not say). So a little tax case or a failure to register case is just a step toward that.

And Mueller got a whole grand jury. Not cheap, and a huge time cost associated. He probably has a big idea.

MikeR said...

I don't like this. What is Mueller's mandate again? Find anything he can on anyone connected with Donald Trump? I thought his job was investigating collusion with the Russians. He shouldn't be doing anything else. Why is he indicting people for tax evasion and lying?

FullMoon said...

From Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes:

Mostly she was mad - mad that she'd lost and that the country would have to endure a Trump presidency... Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. 'She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,' this person said.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.



Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1017/steyn103017.php3#lr0m2GXb5LG6rlOy.99

Ralph L said...

Why would they want to avoid registering as foreign agents?
Would it taint their other work, but isn't this typical of lobbyists?

Michael K said...

I waited until I saw McCarthy's take. The whole prosecution may be contaminated if they used the "Dossier" to get a FISC warrant to surveil these guys.

Discovery should be interesting and Manafort, unless the feds seize his assets can afford good lawyers.

I still say it's 50/50 he walks.

buwaya said...

"I guess I find it hard to believe that he could have been paid that much for "political consulting." It does sound like corruption was in play, but then, I found it hard to believe that the Russians thought that the Clinton Foundation could make better use of deca millions of their charitable dollars than they could."

Its not a bit unusual. Most of this is for use in payoffs downstream.
I suspect part of the tax evasion problem is because of the need to obscure downstream payments.

If Mueller were to do a deep dive on a couple of hundred people hanging about Washington he would certainly turn up a great number of such cases. And this is the penny-ante stuff.

Ralph L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PB said...

Pretty convenient how this was leaked and orchestrated just as Hillary and Bill's problems seem to have hit higher gear.

Ralph L said...

Great, this whole Russia thing came from Hillary's hissy fit.

I say it was projection by her over Uranium One.

Bay Area Guy said...

I saw an editorial in the Economist describing this as an "Al Capone" type prosecution. Can't get him on the murders, racketeering, extortion, bribery -- get 'em on the taxes.

That's a pretty good analogy. But it omits the context.

The reason the Feds resorted to a tax claim, was simply because Capone owned all the cops, DAs, and judges in Chicago/Illinois.

Here, Manafort owns nothing and nobody. He's a high roller, yes, but holds no power. Mueller is just squeezing him to get Trump - which does seem unjust.

Sessions should re-open the Hillary e-mail case, and indict her.

mccullough said...

The money laundering is based on the belief that the non-profit was the "mouth piece" for the government of Ukraine, i.e. it was the government of Ukraine so Manafort had to register as the agent of a foreign government before lobbying and getting paid. Since he didn't register, those payment were laundered to foreign companies he set up. Of course, Mueller believes the foreign companies are shams so it was Manafort who laundered the money and not his companies. This will be harder to prove.
"Nominee" for actual foreign companies and "mouth piece" for an actual non-profit are the tell. The actual documentation and testimony needed to prove this are a lot harder than these Mueller euphemisms imply.

readering said...

One man's opinion. Let's see how it holds up.

tim in vermont said...

Keep hope alive

Keep telling yourself that. The last "Unknown" used to tell us that all the time, assuring us that Trump was going to lose big. it made for a lot of good memories.

Right now it looks like your side is running on fumes, faith, and hope. To be honest.

viator said...

Manafort and Tony Podesta are in this one together according to the Manafort indictment. Planted leaks are indicating Tony Podesta is in Muller's crosshair. So either Muller and his merry band of prosecutors are going to go after some Democrats or this is a feint just to give Muller room to hunt Trump. Muller and his Democrat heavy team could not be accused of political bias if they began to dig through the Democrat manure pile. Tony Podesta just resigned and dissolved The Podesta Group today.

rehajm said...

I thought his job was investigating collusion with the Russians. He shouldn't be doing anything else. Why is he indicting people for tax evasion and lying?

As was discussed in the earlier thread the motive here is likely to have someone close to Trump motivated to cooperate in providing actual evidence to take down Trump, to use flimsy evidence to create evidence to take down Trump, or to justify prolonging the special prosecutor team to leak innuendo do continue to blunt Trumps political effectiveness.

tim in vermont said...

What a bullet we dodged that that vengeful (rhymes with witch) was not elected president.

"My precious! My precious!" - HRC

"What a world, what a world" - HRC

tim in vermont said...

Muller and his Democrat heavy team could not be accused of political bias if they began to dig through the Democrat manure pile.

There will be plenty of opportunity for them to not follow certain roads. Incuriousness is a Democrat strong suit.

Matthew Sablan said...

Resigned dissolved and I'm sure burned a lot papers. Funny they never got ano knock raid.

Darrell said...

Just heard couple of attorneys saying they read the indictment and the charges are all bullshit. Probably why the FBI and US Atty didn't prosecute in the past.

Fabi said...

By this time tomorrow our resident lefties will be claiming that Tony Podesta isn't a democrat.

rehajm said...

Muller and his Democrat heavy team could not be accused of political bias if they began to dig through the Democrat manure pile.

Mueller was head of the FBI when the DNC should have been investigated. That involvement will either be ignored or Mueller will recuse himself.

tds said...

$75m. Spies are not being paid nowhere near that much. It must be an old fashioned lobbying money, meaning major part of that, or another $75m ended somewhere in DC 2004-2016. Let's see who was in power and worth corrupting back then.

Mark O said...

There were two shooters. Everyone knows that. Second was on the roof of the Annex and used a soft nose bullet that exploded in JFK's head. No "magic" bullet. Four shots.

Now that's out of the way, if Muller wanted to make Manafort sing, it would have already happened. Once the case is filed, much leverage dissipates.

To me, the interesting thing is that the arrest of George Papadopoulos in July was kept secret.

Dave Begley said...

Manafort was with the campaign for a very short time. He's got nothing on Trump.

And as to Ann's question about NYT's speculation: TDS.

Humperdink said...

If Trump want to end this investigation at these indictments, he should have Sessions appoint a ruthless special prosecutor to investigate Uranium One - with Mueller being the center of attention.

Molly said...

The answer to all of this is so obvious I can't believe I'm the only one who sees it.

1. In the early 1960s Trump's father and Ted Cruz's father were in the employ of the KGB and organized the assassination of JFK.
2. In early-mid 2016, Trump met face-to-face with Putin; at that meeting Putin threatened to release the KGB proof unless DJT agreed to give Putin veto rights over any and all oval office decisions; in addition Putin agreed to pay DJT a large sum ($500 million).
3. Manafort and Papadopolous were in attendance at the meeting and made a surreptitious video and audio recording of the meeting, including this statement from a clearly drunken Trump, "Just give me the money and files and you can do whatever the hell you want to with the USA."

So it's just a matter of time before these videos are release -- I'm sure Mueller already has them.

mccullough said...

Some of that $75 million went to Podesta and the other lobbying firm. Mueller didn't deduct business expenses for all the Manafort companies. The paperwork will be complicated. I'm sure his team will eventually work through all of it since they are all experienced in defending criminals as well as prosecuting them. Most of them are probably criminals as well. Anyone going through their billing records could probably make a case for mail/wire fraud

Gk1 said...

MikeR I was thinking the same thing. I thought this was all about getting to the bottom of russian interference in the 2016 election, yet it only concentrates on trump staff and now includes jay walking, spitting on the sidewalk and tax evasion. I think we are losing the plot here fast.

Jim at said...

Why is the NYT feeding its readers this kind of wild speculation?

So gullible, leftist dupes can plaster Internet boards with their bullshit?

Rusty said...

There is no Russian collusion between Trump and any of his staffers, but Manifort and company run their business like a democrat and must be indicted.
That about right Mr. Mueller.

mccullough said...

Kristoff sang the FBI's tune on Steven Hatfill. Kristoff should have been fired then. But he's a useful idiot so he kept his paycheck and still speculates.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Manafort is going to play this straight and let the legal action take its course. If Mueller's Gestapo raid did not get Manafort to "turn" an indictment is, as others said, too late.

Browndog said...

How did so many people convince themselves that Trump committed a crime with virtually no evidence?

Are we really sheep in human clothing?

mccullough said...

If Manafort sings about the wrong people, nothing will happen. How it works.

The Godfather said...

Hey look a squirrel!

Manafort (I typed Manafart but corrected it) is nobody. He doesn't matter. Mueller's game is to persuade Manafort to disclose (concoct) damaging information about Trump from his 3 months directing the Trump campaign, in return for immunity from prosecution for money laundering, etc. Right? That's what this is really about. It's pathetic. Would anyone who isn't already an anti-Trump partisan believe that?

The real issue is the Democrats' involvement with Russia and Uranium and $$. George S. and the rest of the MSM can avoid that only so long.

Bay Area Guy said...

If Manafort earned $75 Million, he should have plenty of dough to hire Alan Dershowitz, David Boeis and Ted Olson together - just go ballistic against Mueller and his bean-counters.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"years before the 2016 election (mainly, from 2006 through 2014)"

Do you see the lie? 2014 is at best "2 years before the 2016 election". But as our elections take 2 years, and the 2016 election was kicked off in 2015, it is really "the year before the election."

But the Kristoff "cascade" is also a tell. He's implicitly acknowledging that without such a cascade, it's just Blago and Rezko all over again.

Qwinn said...

$145 Million > $75 Million.

Matthew Sablan said...

"How did so many people convince themselves that Trump committed a crime with virtually no evidence?"

-- I was open to the possibility at first, when I thought people meant financial or business dealings. Once it was all aboard the Trump-Russia Collusion-mobile, I pretty much checked out.

Khesanh 0802 said...

In other news: US captures key militant in Benghazi attack LINK.

Bay Area Guy said...

A gentle reminder -- Hillary is still not President. And Franco is still dead.

Carry on.

Matthew Sablan said...

So is Freddo. Poor guy.

pacwest said...

I'm not sure Mueller even cares about a conviction. The entire scam is about keeping the investigation alive until the 2018 elections, and 2020 if he can. Hence his bringing the indictments before he lost his job.

Good luck getting anything at all on Clinton, who has surrounded herself with layers of lawyers. She don't know nuthin.

Tommy Duncan said...

"Why is the NYT feeding its readers this kind of wild speculation?"

Why do dogs lick their private parts?

n.n said...

An analogous case is NGOs, non-profits, banks, investment houses, etc. providing financial services in an area where mainstream banking rarely treads. This legal activity changed character with the Western-backed deposition of the democratically elected government in Kiev. If this case is prosecuted, then the DOJ and DOT will both have their hands full in investigation of diverse interests, left, right, and center, but likely mostly left.

DKWalser said...

The point of going after Manafort is to get him to turn on a bigger fish. That was also the point of going after Skooter Libby. The problem is that Libby didn't have anything on the bigger fish (Dick Cheney). Or, in the view most charitable to the prosecutor, Libby had something but wouldn't use it to free himself. Or, in the view of many, the prosecutor didn't care if Libby had anything on Cheney as long as he'd testify to one of Cheney's purported crimes. That is, many believe Fitzgerald would have been willing to use a coerced lie from Libby to get Cheney -- as long as it couldn't be demonstrated that the prosecutor knew it was a lie.

That's the problem with the Manafort prosecution. It's doubtful he has anything on Trump. He didn't work for Trump long enough. So, anything Manafort might say against Trump -- unless it is backed up by a lot of independent evidence (in which case, there would be no need for Manafort's testimony) -- will be seen my many as a life forced by the prosecution.

Damaging testimony against Podesta is slightly different. There, Manafort worked with Podesta for an extended period of time and many of the allegedly illegal structures Manafort put into place were in conjunction with the work Manafort was doing for Podesta. So, testimony from Manafort that explains how and why everything was done and how it was all done with Podesta's approval would be more credible. Maybe not a lot more credible by itself, but it would have the advantage of making sense of a large paper trail and might overcome a jury's distaste for coerced testimony.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why do dogs lick their private parts"

-- Because they have no other way to conduct hygiene?

Qwinn said...

They didn't convince themselves. They were convinced by many deliberate voices within their bubbles. I truly hope those voices are someday held to account, but aside from Che, communists never are. That's why he's on their T shirts. He died for their sins, and now they can get away with anything.

You know what they're doing because they're accusing us of it. And yeah, that includes being racist, being sexist, being rapists, being traitors, hating the poor, and I've spent my life hearing about "rich Republican fat cats" yet with a couple of notable exceptions all I see everywhere are limousine liberals with insane politics and morals.

Matthew Sablan said...

DK: If Trump goes to a jury, he's going in either Washington or New York. For the most part, a prosecutor just needs to get him to the jury and let demographics do the rest.

Sigivald said...

Why is the NYT feeding its readers this kind of wild speculation?

Because it suits the Times' ends - even if it really has no connection to the President, it can tar him by association, and that's all that matters*.

Surely you know that.

(* I wish that wasn't the obvious reading, but it is. Because the Times has lost any shine it once - inaccurately - had as a bastion of principle.

I don't even like the President, and I see it plain as day here.)

Henry said...

The dot-connectors are really falling over themselves:

• Manafort is indicted!
• He spills the beans about something!!
• Beanstalk!!!

Sam L. said...

The NYT LOVES to fill its readers with wild speculation. It's what they're reasonably good at.

Sigivald said...

Ref. what DKWalser said - " The problem is that Libby didn't have anything on the bigger fish (Dick Cheney). "

Even bigger problem there is that the "leaker" who "outed" Valerie Plame was ... Richard Armitage, at the State Department, without relation to the President or Vice President suggesting any such thing to him, no?

That entire witch-hunt was pathetic at the time and remains so.)

Joshua Barker said...

Can a sitting President be "arrested" for an alleged crime that occurred before s/he became President? Is that even possible? As far as I'm aware, the only avenue for forcing Trump out of office is impeachment, which is not based on actual criminal actions, but by whether congress has big enough balls to do so...

Douglas said...

The news when I woke up a couple of hours ago here in China was that Tony Podesta (John Podesta's brother) has resigned from his lobbying firm, which apparently committed many of the same sins as Manaforts - not registering as foreign agents when consulting for the Ukraine, etc. "I shot an arrow in the air, it fell to earth I knew not where."

AReasonableMan said...

Bay Area Guy said...
If Manafort earned $75 Million, he should have plenty of dough to hire Alan Dershowitz, David Boeis and Ted Olson together


Too late, he spent it on rugs and gardening.

George Ferko said...

If Manafort were willing to sing, there would not have been an indictment. The usual route is to file an Information with a guilty plea and a cooperation plea agreement. He still could, of course, cooperate, but these charges carry no mandatory minimum sentences and the guidelines tend to be low. In other words, there is not much leverage for Mueller. I'm quite sure his attorney was already approached about cooperating, and it appears that was rejected.

Chris N said...

What about this process has been particularly respectful?

wildswan said...

The way I see it Mueller is conducting the investigation in such a way that the American public will come to understand how lobbying is done these days by foreign countries using US PR or lobbying firms. Mueller is going to show the inner workings of the shiny new model of globalized corruption which has replaced old-style local politics-as-usual. We have to be shown by Mueller how DC is crooked before we can see how Trump is supposedly like DC so "'Crooked Hillary' really is crooked" is step one in the Mueller investigation. This cannot be what the Dems or the GOPe want. Already, today, Tony Podesta dissolved his group or firm or whatever he had. Last week it became clear that the Clintons lobbied for the Russian government to get 20% of the US uranium reserves. Are they registered agents? And the other day Obama got $400,000 for a speech. People go to DC poor and leave rich - see Nancy Pelosi. As, I say, I can't believe DC wants us to understand exactly how it all happens.

And furthermore, if Trump really were "colluding" Mueller wouldn't be exposing the rest of DC and their lobbying tricks.

robother said...

As Alan Dershowitz was saying on Fox Business earlier, the unstated premise is that Manfort will proffer something sensational (even if embellished or made up out of whole cloth) against Trump in exchange for lenient sentencing.

All these transactions were undoubtedly flagged for IRS and DOJ scrutiny for the last 5 years, and yet no one seemed to see anything worth prosecuting. Maybe because the Podestas were drinking from the same trough. The not on that a Special Prosecutor charged with specifically finding evidence of "Russian collusion" in "hacking" the 2016 election can investigate crimes that have nothing to do with that, simply in order to create pressure on witnesses to concoct evidence is what should be shocking.
That the NYTimes is cheering such scummy behavior is not.

Earnest Prole said...

Everyone knew the shape of the Manafort charges well before this indictment came down. The news is the shape of the Papadopoulos charges, and speculation on how related matters might play out. Writing an article about the former while entirely ignoring the latter is known as "whistling past the graveyard."

wildswan said...

And just to be clear I don't think Trump is crooked. I think the hope is that if DC is smeared then it will seem that Trump must be like DC. But Trump is not like DC.

AReasonableMan said...

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. At least our allies in the Ukraine are happy.

Ukrainians cheered by news of Manafort’s indictment

mccullough said...

If Ukraine were our ally, they would be part of NATO. Instead they are just our pawn in fucking with Russia.

Mike Sylwester said...

I do not think that Paul Manafort was really a "political consultant" to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

I think that Manfort was hired to smuggle assets out of Ukraine and to facilitate emigration to the West.

Although Yanukovych was elected legitimately, the Obama Administration was trying to overthrow him. Therefore Yanukovych had very good reason to take precautions to preserve the assets of himself and of his supporters.

Yes, many of those assets were acquired through corruption, because Ukrainian society is generally corrupt. Politicians on all sides are corrupt.

The $72 million -- or whatever the amount -- was smuggled out of Ukraine by Manafort so that the members of Yanukovych's legitimately elected government would not lose all that money to the Obama-supported rebels after they overthrew that government.

Rabel said...

I like this song:

Manafort->Tony Podesta->John Podesta->You Know Who.

It's got a beat and you can dance to it.

"At an all-staff meeting announcing his departure, Podesta told staff that he was leaving because of the possible legal issues arising from Manafort’s indictment. According to Politico, which first reported Podesta’s departure, he said he “needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it.”

Tony didn't resign just to fight a simple "failure to register" charge.

Unknown said...

“Writing an article about the former while entirely ignoring the latter is known as "whistling past the graveyard."”

Papadopoulos may have been the guy who was wired, that the WH was so worried about, lol.

n.n said...

The baby hunt in its fourth trimester, and all they have managed to discover is a warlock, maybe.

Mike Sylwester said...

mccullough at 5:36 PM

Kristoff sang the FBI's tune on Steven Hatfill.

When Robert "The FBI White-Washer" Mueller was FBI Director, the FBI used leaks in the anthrax case for two reasons:

1) to assure the public (falsely) the the FBI was making good progress in its investigation

2) to pressure Hatfill into confessing, committing suicide, etc.

Mueller's FBI directed its leaks primarily to Nicholas Kristoff. The news stories that Kristoff wrote with the FBI leaks give his journalism career a big boost.

That's how the FBI operates. The FBI gives leaks and book deals to favored journalists.

Kristoff's journalism career needs a new boost, and so he has been begging IRS employees to leak Trump's tax info to him.

That's how Kristoff operates. If he gets good leaks, then he writes favorable articles about the leaker and the agency.

For sure, Mueller is a leaker. That's how he ran his FBI during his anthrax investigation. Of course, Hatfill sued the FBI successfully, but that's just the cost of doing business for Mueller.

Mueller was the mentor of "Crazy Comey the Leaker". Where else do you think Comey learned how to leak the FBI's secret info?

Mueller himself is leaking all the time as he conducts his disgraceful investigation now. Leakers gotta leak.

MPH said...

Brilliant strategy by team Trump to hire someone so well-connected to Putin's cronies -- the perfect campaign manager.

Unknown said...

Oh boy. We keep learning more and more.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/30/mueller-manafort-gates-testimony-244339

Mueller team won battle to force testimony from lawyer for Manafort and Gates

Judge concluded there was substantial evidence attorney was duped into relaying falsehoods to Justice Department.


Prosecutors convinced a federal judge to require a lawyer for Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates to testify before the grand jury investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election, a court ruling unsealed on Monday showed.

The unusual move is an indication of the aggressiveness of special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecution team as they prepared to indict Manafort and Gates on charges of money laundering and failing to register as foreign agents. The 12-count indictment was made public on Monday.

Lawyers for Manafort and Gates fought the prosecution's drive to intrude on attorney-client communications. But Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that an exception, which involves using a lawyer to commit crime or fraud, applied to contacts with an attorney who helped respond to inquiries about why the pair had not filed foreign-agent lobbying registrations with the Justice Department.

New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said the judge was persuaded that there was significant evidence Manafort and Gates had duped their lawyer into sending inaccurate letters to Justice about their lobbying efforts and about what emails might exist about the work.

"Essentially, the judge is saying that it is probable or likely that the clients had a criminal or fraudulent purpose in hiring the lawyer, even if (we would hope) the lawyer did not know it,"
Gillers told POLITICO.“

Rob McLean said...

Why is the NYT feeding its readers this kind of wild speculation?

Red meat for blue people.

Mrs. X said...

Based on the information in the indictment, here's the headline/talking point/what you will: "Former Trump Campaign Manager Arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Crimes Against U.S." If I weren't a reader of McCarthy or Turley or Glenn, if I were your average voter (and most voters are average!) I would hear this and be quite, quite upset. I would think either, oh my god I voted for a man who is probably a criminal, or see? I always knew Trump was a criminal. I would not investigate further, because most people have neither the time nor the inclination to investigate further. I would like to be unworried about this thing that is plainly nonsense, but instead I am worried.

Unknown said...

Turley doesn’t sound so sure there was no collusion.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?436381-103/jonathan-turley-paul-manafort-russia-probe

Original Mike said...

Tucker Carlson: the "one sentence Cliff Note to the whole affair. The chairman of one major Presidential campaign colluded with the brother of the chairman of the other major Presidential campaign to enrich themselves by secretly advancing the interests of a foreign adversary."

D said...

If they start walking Manafort back and forth through basements filled with newspapermen....

AReasonableMan said...

Unknown said...
Turley doesn’t sound so sure there was no collusion.


This was an interesting link. Yes, Turley was not putting any of his reputation in the 'Trump has nothing to worry about' basket.

Unknown said...

“This was an interesting link. Yes, Turley was not putting any of his reputation in the 'Trump has nothing to worry about' basket.”

Yes, unlike another law professor who has a blog. He’s just too smart to take such a chance.

n.n said...

You know, this may actually be about Obama's election laundering of several hundred million in untraceable donations, and likely more during his global social justice adventures. This is about Obama and Democratic exploitation of government resources to target Americans, Republican competitors, and Trump specifically. The last even before [presidential] conception, and a baby hunt well into its fourth trimester.

That said, what happened in Ukraine, in Kiev?

Was it spawned by Russia's intervention in Obama's adventures in Syria?

Was the Somalian intervention, and refugee crisis, forced by a uranium replacement adventure? And Libya's oil?

It seems that Manafort is a baby in a long line of babies aborted for political choices of people above his pay grade.

tim in vermont said...

"Brilliant strategy by team Trump to hire someone so well-connected to Putin's cronies -- the perfect campaign manager."

Didn't work for Hillary!

holdfast said...

This reminds me of Patrick Fitzgrald's gross over-charging of Lord Black.

If Manafort really is tied in with Kremlin interests, I suspect he will conclude it's in his best interests to do a few years in Club Fed and get a rep as a hard man, rather than getting a rep as a canary. If Lord Black could do the time, I suspect Manafort can too.

There are worse fates than a few years in a minimum security jail.

gg6 said...

ALTHOUSE says: "....at the NYT, you've got headlines like "Will Manafort Sing?" That's in terrible taste."
Well, I think you're so right, Althouse, but the NYT this AM sounded positively NEOCONish compared to the WAPO HEADLINE (since removed) that trumpeted (ha)the line "CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE US"!....
I'll give credit for that to the possibility the NYT has enough working brain cells still remaining to realize this entire "COLLUSION!!" story is very likely leading nowhere but back to the DNC, Podesta Inc., et al, and, of course, the grand poohbah herself, Hillary and her entourage/enablers.
Then, of course, maybe I'm just imagining the tooth fairy - the one that is also nourishing on the self-defeating stupidity of the so-called 'Feminist movement' and now the so-caled Gay/Rainbow coalition as they rage against the "everyone knew" behavior of twisted Mr. Spacey. ....will these philosophies/groups/ attitudes really reap in full what they have sown?.... Oh, dear heart, be still!

MikeR said...

@Earnest 'Writing an article about the former while entirely ignoring the latter is known as "whistling past the graveyard."' Uh, usually whistling past the graveyard is reserved for situations that are dire but we want to pretend. But as Ann pointed out already, if Mr. Trump didn't collude - nothing of this can actually lead anywhere! You have nothing to hope for if that is so, and that is overwhelmingly likely to be so.
Never-Trumpers are refusing to deal with the reality that they can't get Trump to collude with the Russians just by wishing he did.

Hagar said...

And as far as I know, the "collusion" alleged is still about getting the DNC and Podesta e-mails published and trying to find and publish Hillary!'s 33,000 missing e-mails?

These are things we need to know about if there is any "there" there, and if not, the Democrats should be happy to see that proved.
Either way, whoever helps to get the material published is doing a public service that should be applauded by all, regardless of party.

Sebastian said...

You'd think, if there was any blood in the turnip, Mueller would have leaked a drop or two by now. Just to strike little fear into his next targets. So far, nada.

narciso said...

Clown noise off, ow0clown nose off:
https://www.thenation.com/article/hillary-clintons-ethical-challenge/

At the time kristog was listening to two crazy and irrespinsable people, Meryl nass and Susan hatch Rosenberg's.

Steven said...

Sure, this'll take down Trump.

And Monica Lewinsky provided the dirt on Vernon Jordan paying her off with a job at Revlon, to get Jordan to testify against the Clintons on paying off Hubble with a job at Revlon, which then forced Hubble to finally testify against the Clintons.

Oh, wait.

tim in vermont said...

Basically, the Turley thing is a waste of time to watch, but go ahead if you like. It's 6 minutes. The nut of it is that if you assume that Trump is guilty, and Manafort knows it, Manafort is likely to squeal, rather than do 10 years starting at 68 years old.

Can I just stipulate that sure, if you assume Trump is guilty, then the "walls are caving in." But Turley points to exactly no evidence of "collusion" or even evidence or a theory that gets closer to collusion, he just says that Manafort's balls are in a vice, which we already knew. Plus he says it's possible that there is other evidence that Mueller has... Ok.

I can't get why a "reasonable" person could get excited over that video.

gg6 said...

Blogger Michael K says:......."Discovery should be interesting (re ) Manafort...I still say it's 50/50 he walks."
Well, that's a very provocative possibility, I agree. But how often does a public Fed prosecution target EVER 'walk' except AFTER trial/dismissal/verdict? Or turning witness-stoolie?
If Manafort matches their opening bluff, joins their 'War' of massive destruction and it goes to trial, , the best he will get, imho, is a negotiated 'settlement' - e.g pleading to a minor charge w/ guaranteed no-punishment.....which isn't to say that would not be a HUGE victory for him, however painful - and maybe worth a few lawsuits afterward and a reasonably profitable biography?
In any event, he's now in a very tough place - it remains to be seen how 'tough' a guy he is in response......oth, Time is not on Mueller's side either - if he doesn't produce "collusion' reasonably soon, his rep and his ass start going downhill...this is like chess with a clock!!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Kristol. He's on the list. Maybe at the top.
Good luck, Bill.

tim in vermont said...

I bet if the Trump campaign had deleted tens of thousands of emails and destroyed records of meetings after this investigation had begun, said the emails were all about grandchildren and yoga lessons, never even gave an explanation for the meetings, the Democrats would be satisfied that there was no wrongdoing!

gadfly said...

Allahpundit over at Hot Air suggests that Papadopolous has not only sung - he has been wearing a wire for the past three months. The judge has sealed all details regarding the charges against Georgie Boy.

gadfly said...

@HoodlumDoodlum said...
Kristol. He's on the list. Maybe at the top.
Good luck, Bill.

What list are we talking about here. Bill Kristol is not being investigated. Last time checked, it remains legal to oppose Trump - the man, his personality, his lies, his self-love and his ineffectiveness as president.

Gk1 said...

"Allahpundit over at Hot Air suggests that Papadopolous has not only sung - he has been wearing a wire for the past three months." Lol. Keep hope alive. Will trump be sharing a cell with Dick Cheney? Happy Fitzmas!

Yancey Ward said...

The problem with using Manafort as a star witness is this- he worked for the campaign for 3 months, and not during the heat of the primary or the general election. If Manafort had any physical evidence that supported the original investigation focus, do you really think it wouldn't have leaked by this point?

The Papadopolous story would be more interesting if not for the fact that literally no one knew who he was prior to today. Given his age, it is all but certain he played practically no role at all in the campaign other than a gofer for more senior people. The story as told by the information released today is that he tried to get campaign officials interested in the things he was doing and was rebuffed. I am guessing that he didn't lie to the investigators either, but was too certain of his faulty memory. This is the guy Trump should pardon, but he should wait to do it after Papadopolous' case is settled.

Yancey Ward said...

I am now 100% certain that there was no collusion with the Russians, and today was the high water mark for the Mueller investigation. Manafort isn't going to make shit up to get off lightly, so it is now put up or shut up for Mueller.

Yancey Ward said...

And just one other thing before I turn in for the night- Tony Podesta's resignation from his firm on Monday is the most interesting thing that happened, in my opinion. The details of the indictments seemed to indicate to Podesta, at least, that he is next since he and his firm are the one thing Manafort might be expected knowledge and the corroborating evidence needed. If Manafort does "sing", it is Podesta who is, by a wide margin, the most likely target.

tim in vermont said...

and his ineffectiveness as president.

I will grant you all of your other complaints about Trump, Gadfly, even though I don't really agree with you 100%, but what do you say he is "ineffective"?

Never mind, it's a rhetorical question. I know that you are blinded by hatred and can't answer. Hey, it's alright, I hate Hillary too, but at least I make sure that I have my facts straight!

Bruce Hayden said...

“And just one other thing before I turn in for the night- Tony Podesta's resignation from his firm on Monday is the most interesting thing that happened, in my opinion. The details of the indictments seemed to indicate to Podesta, at least, that he is next since he and his firm are the one thing Manafort might be expected knowledge and the corroborating evidence needed. If Manafort does "sing", it is Podesta who is, by a wide margin, the most likely target.”

Will Mueller go after Tony Podesta (and maybe his brother too, who apparently had some involvement in their firm)? That would bring the investigation too close to the Clintons, in particular, for comfort. Mueller seems to have mostly hired Obama and Clinton operatives as his prosecutors. Not sure if he can get them motivated to go after one (or more) of their own. The flip side is that Mueller is well known now to have been compromised while FBI Director in all things Russia, with his suppressing the Uranium One investigation. Not going after at least Tony Podesta then would seem to be prima facie evidence of engaging in a taxpayer funded partisan witch hunt.

Running around in circles a bit more - Mueller wouldn't likely maintain any control over the widening Russian probe, esp as it heads towards Uranium One and the Trump Dossier, if he doesn’t at least get Tony Podesta’s scalp. His being compromised by his role in Uranium One has caused the investigation to move to Congress, where the House, in particular, has gotten more aggressive (and with Speaker Ryan’s support, they are now getting stuff from the DoJ and FBI). While Mueller probably sheds few tears for the Clinton’s and all the millions they acquired through questionable means, but it is really a fight between Trump and the Deep State, in which Mueller has been a long term power player. So, from that point of view, he can’t afford not to go after Tony Podesta, at least, with some, but probably not excessive, vigor.

Having run around in circles for awhile, I frankly don’t know what Mueller is going to do next, but am pretty sure that what he does do will give us insight into his character, or lack thereof. We shall see.

Matthew Sablan said...

If Mueller goes after Podesta it is purely a rote exercise. They be had days to destroy documents. They'll find nothing unless the Clinton and Podesta teams suddenly don't destroy thousands of documents.

Rusty said...

-" if he doesn't produce "collusion' reasonably soon, his rep and his ass start going downhill...this is like chess with a clock!!"

But none of the indictments are about "collusion" They are about tax evasion and money laundering.

Bruce Hayden said...

"They are about tax evasion and money laundering."

And, according to McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, the scienter (intent) requirement for the money laundering charge is pretty stiff. Merely moving money around is not sufficient. Nor buying something and selling it later, nor getting mortgage loans on properties. Rather, you apparently had to know, at the time you were laundering the money, that it was from ill gotten gains. Proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Rusty said...

if he had used my accountant Mueller would owe him money.

OGWiseman said...

The difference in analysis between people on the Right, people on the Left, and actual legal experts in this matter is astounding, even in this day and age. We really are living in two different worlds.

The one place I'd push back on the comments here is those people who are saying: "This is all?"

This is the beginning. First indictments. It establishes Manafort as compromised before he started managing Trump's campaign. The idea that this doesn't matter because it was "before the campaign" is deliberately obtuse. Trump hired a guy who was thoroughly compromised to run his campaign. No idea if it'll end up criminal, but that's a huge problem, politically and for the country.

The other hilarious part about this is that people on the Right think people on the Left give a shit about what happens to Podesta and Hillary. Please, get them out of politics. Hillary sucks enough to try to run again. Pretty please, head that one off at the pass for us.

Rusty said...

". No idea if it'll end up criminal, but that's a huge problem, politically and for the country."

Then why wasn't he indicted on collusion instead of tax evasion and money laundering? A competent tax attorney can get him off on both those charges.

Etienne said...

Russia is reporting that the indictment has a technical error and makes it void.

The name they gave was not the President of the Ukraine, but the Prime Minister.

...another 10 million down the drain...

Pianoman said...

It's the Underpants Gnomes Approach:

Step 1: Indict Manafort;
Step 2: ...
Step 3: Impeachment!

"What's step 2 guys?"

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Etienne said...

"What's step 2 guys?"

Step 2: Trump gets a blow job from a Jewish intern and splooshes on her blue dress.

Pianoman said...

Blue Dress Sploosh will only get you disbarred in Arkansas -- it won't get you impeached ...

Bad Lieutenant said...

Etienne, are we having a problem here?